If someone told me I could choose any meal in the world to have and it would be calorie free, hands down I would choose Fettuccine Alfredo. When I was younger and didn’t know much about nutrition and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound, I would always order Fettuccine Alfredo from one of the Italian restaurants in my hometown. It’s insanely good as are most things that contain lots of butter and cheese but not at all good for you. I strongly believe in having all things in moderation but unfortunately I don’t know my limits when it comes to this decadent pasta so I had to take matters into my own hands and come up with something a little healthier.
I love creating and finding recipes that take some of my favorite comfort foods and making them lighter, which is exactly what I have done here. I tried several “low-calorie” Alfredo sauces but none of them cut it for me until now. This sauce is still rich and creamy but without the guilt. Adding broccoli to the pasta gives it an extra veggie kick and if you choose you can add in cooked chicken for some additional protein.
Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli
(Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine March 2011)
– 2 broccoli heads, stems removed, and cut into small pieces
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 clove garlic
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
– 1 cup 2% milk
– 2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
– 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for the topping
– 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
– 1-12oz box whole wheat Fettuccine noodles
– Cooked chicken breast (Optional)
– In a pot of boiling water, cook broccoli until tender. Drain and set aside
– In a saucepan make the sauce: melt the butter. Add in garlic and lemon juice and cook until the garlic is soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and stir and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken, 3-5 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted. Add in the chopped parsley.
– Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the box directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the noodles and return to the pot.
– Add the sauce and broccoli in with the noodles and pour in 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Gently toss adding more pasta water as needed to loosen. Season with salt and pepper.
– Top the pasta with more Parmesan cheese and chicken (optional).